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Chapter Five: Hold My Hand

The way your hair swings over your eyes
The motor in my head turns

“Why can’t you just be happy for me!” Cream was practically screaming at me in frustration.

I couldn’t really blame her. Every day for the past two weeks I had tried to convince her to abandon this party. I kept telling her about this awful feeling I had, gut retching really. Sometimes, when I let my imagination really run away with its self, I envisioned Cream coming home in tears – bruises marring her porcelain skin.

There was also the fact that I didn’t want her to go and get stolen by another man. A man more confident than myself. A man that knew how to voice his feelings for the fallen angel that had graced this planet.

Needless to say, I kept that sentiment to myself.

Wanting you for such a long time
In my mind, a heart, a lesson to learn

“I’d be happy for you if I knew it was true! What if they hurt you, Cream? What if this is all just a plot to embarrass you in front of all the popular kids at the university?”

“Maize, you’re being paranoid.” A few deep breaths had controlled her temper.

“I can’t even go with you! You have no one there that’s on your side if this is some kind of cruel prank!”

“That’s not true! Scarlett and Royal both said you could come.” She shot back darkly.

This was true. They had said I could come. Matter of fact, they had originally invited both of us in person two weeks ago. However, an email from Royal had set one rule that completely deterred me from attending.

It was mandatory that everyone in attendance wear their own color.

I didn’t even own anything fancy enough for a party to begin with – there was no way I owned yellow clothing that would meet the criteria. I was pretty sure hoodies and torn shoes weren’t appropriate attire.

Do do do do do do do do
You’ll never know,
I’m after you

“You know they made that rule so I wouldn’t come.” I retorted, running a hand through my hair.

“Or maybe they were trying to help you! Maybe they knew if you did dress in black you would be picked on!”

“Whatever.” I caved. There was no point in arguing. The party was tonight. Cream was going to go.

Surely some knight would find her and sweep her off her feet, claiming her for his own.

At my crescent-fallen expression Cream closed the gap between us, placing her small hand on my shoulder.

A small smile graced her lips, “Are you still going to help me get ready?”

“Yea, sure.”

Do do do do do do do do
You’ll never know

Of course, helping Cream get ready really consisted of sitting on the toilet while she stood in front of my bathroom mirror for hours applying make-up and doing her hair. Since I wasn’t good at either of those things, I was really just there for small conversation and the occasional opinion.

“Does this eye-liner look good on me?”

“What about this shade of blush?”

“My eye shadow isn’t too much?”

“Should I curl my hair in one or two parts?”

I don’t know why Cream thought I would know the answers to these questions; I was a guy and by all means was not gay, but I tried my best to answer correctly. Quick and simple yes and no responses that didn’t distract me from wallowing in my self-pity for too long. Half the time she didn’t take my advice anyways – wiping off a color of shadow that I just said look good in favor for another.

And you smell like,
How angels oughta smell

“You know, if you did go, I’d suggest slicking your hair back a little,” She said, turning her attention away from the mirror and towards my mop of hair.

“Well, I’m not going,” I retorted sourly, “so it doesn’t really matter.”

“Someone’s grouchy,” She picked up one of my combs and ran it under the stream of water from my faucet, “I think it would look good.”

I didn’t fuss as she ran the comb through my hair, pinning back the locks from my face.

“See, now everyone can see that handsome face of yours!” She exclaimed cheerful.

I smiled in response but before I could open my mouth to speak, Cream was ushering me out of the bathroom.

“I have to change!”


And you look like
You’re ready to go

When Cream stepped out of my bathroom ten minutes later my jaw might as well have hit the ground.

Her petite feet were strapped into a pair of white three inch heels, causing her long legs to seem endless. My eye slowly traveled up her bare flesh to the hem of her dress which was precariously low cut. The dress molded to her body and, as she did a little twirl for me, left her back exposed. The zebra pattern of the dress was white and a light grey, in agreement with the rules Royal had set forth. However, the ribbons of her dress daringly broke the rules.

“Cream, your dress…”

“What? Is it too much? Too short?” She fretted.

“No, it’s yellow.” I pointed out in awe.

“Oh,” She said with a small giggle, “so?”

“Won’t you get in trouble?”

“It’s almost white,” She said in her defense, “plus I needed a reminder.”

“A reminder of what?” I asked with a raised brow.

“That if this is some kind of cruel joke that you’ll be here waiting.”

The way your hair swings over your eyes
The way your words keep me in a line

“Of course,” I whispered, closing the gap between us and pulling her into a hug, “forever.”

The vibration of Cream’s phone pulled us apart. She glanced down at the screen and smiled brightly at the purple letters that lit up:

Royal.

“He’s outside.” She stated simply.

As she turned to leave I grabbed her wrist, spinning her back around to face me.

I could do it. I could tell my living breathing angel exactly how I felt about her. All I had to do was open my mouth and say three words: I love you. Why were they so hard to say? Was it because I had no practice saying them? I suppose never having an interest in any girl till now didn’t exactly give me the experience one needed in these types of situations.

Cream looked up at me quizzically, “Are you alright, Maize?”

“Yea,” I frowned, sitting down on one of my stools, “Have fun.”

She nodded, frowning slightly, “If you change your mind about attending I left a gift for you in your bedroom.”

And with that she was gone.

I stared at the door for a few minutes before heading towards my room, curious as to what Cream had been talking about.

The gift Cream had left me was a simple yellow outfit. It fit me perfectly, the jeans hung from my hips smoothly and the shirts were neither baggy nor tight. I imagined she had to have dug through my dressers on one of our Wednesday movie nights.


I’m telling you for the very last time
You better know

An hour later I found myself in the bathroom, changing my clothes as fast as humanly possible.

I was so dumb.

So exceedingly incredibly dumb!

I would never forgive myself if Cream had already been humiliated without me there to protect her. She was so naïve, so trusting, who knew what kind of trouble she would get herself into! She probably drank every drink that was offered to her! Some sleaze bag had probably already drugged her and was currently having his way with her.

My thoughts did little for the turmoil in my stomach or the pounding of my head.

So baby hold my hand
I’ll take you everywhere

I had put Cream in danger and for what reason? Because I didn’t want to give into the social norm for one night? Was being a yellow ‘bow really so awful? Or was I just that selfish? I made a mental promise to myself right then and there. From that day forward I would do whatever it took to protect Cream – even if that meant giving up my individuality for a night.

I practically sprinted out my apartment and down the complex building before jumping onto my bike. I had been gripping the keys to my vehicle so tightly that they left impressions on my hand. Not that I cared at the moment. No, at that moment the only thing in the world that mattered to me was getting to Cream.

Hopefully before it was too late.


Anywhere
You wanna go

Song by: New Found Glory

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Chapter Four: Invitation

It had been two months since Cream and I had formed an alliance. Ok, calling it an alliance was slight overkill. It wasn’t like we sat around plotting our revenge against Royal and Scarlett. No, we dealt with them in a much more humane way – by ignoring them. What Cream and I had would be more accurately described as a friendship.

My best friend, actually.

It didn’t matter that she possessed lips that begged to be kissed or that her fleeting touches seduced me to no end. So what if I had a habit of getting lost in her eyes and, more often than not, my dreams involving her lacked clothing.

She was just a friend. Nothing more.

I was jostled out of my revere by the girl in question, her arms wrapping around my neck.

“Maize!” My heart skip a beat.

“Hey Cream. Ready to head out?”

She nodded in agreement, glancing around the bustling courtyard with heavy-lidded eyes.

“Did you see Royal today?”

“Nope, you?” Both of us only had one class with the purple terror – Painting 101. That didn’t mean, however, that we were spared his wrath on the other three days of the week. No, more often than not I found myself face to face with the jerk in the hallways or courtyard. Sometimes I swore he purposely went looking for me.

“Nah. No one else gave you trouble?”

“Nope, just the usual stares and whispers,” I replied, kicking a pebble out of my way, “What did they do to you?”

I took a deep breath and braced myself for the answer. It pained me to see Cream let rumors and spiteful jokes get under her skin but she did. She always did. At least she was getting better at hiding it from the bullies, though.

“Yea,” The frown that pulled at her lips tore at my heart, “you know how it goes. I was in Bio when some girl asked the professor about genetics. The discussion, of course, turned to genetic mutations. This obviously got turned into a joke about me.”

This wasn’t new. Her bio class seemed to like turning every subject into a discussion about mutations. I didn’t know what to do about it; honestly, it wasn’t like I could follow her to class one day and just punch every single one of those snotty girls in the face. Though, the idea was tempting. No, there was only one thing I could do for Cream.

Cheer her up.

I stopped in front of her, her small lithe body bouncing against mine at the unexpected lack of movement.

“What the! Maize, you jerk.” She wailed.

I looked over my shoulder to find her rubbing her arm tentatively, “Sorry, thought I would carry you back home.”

 Her snow colored brows arched in response, arms folded over her chest, “I don’t think you could.”

“Are you calling me weak?”

“No, I’m calling myself fat.”

Typical girl, “You are not fat! Now come on, I’ll give you a piggy back ride.”

“If you drop me….”

“Oh, jeez. Have you no faith in me at all?” I asked, feigning hurt.

She rolled her eyes but climbed onto my back none the less. Hiking her up further and making sure I had a good grip on her porcelain legs, I took off towards my small apartment.

*

There were times when I realized we were just friends. Like earlier when I was making us popcorn and she came over to tease me.

“Make sure you don’t burn it!” She had teased while laughing.

This was a legitimate concern of hers, though she played it off, because I had somehow managed to burn our popcorn twice before. I really was a terrible cook.

“Yea, yea. Laugh it up.” I called over my shoulder.

“Awwhhhh, poor Maizey-Waizey! Cheer up.” She waltzed behind me, pinching my cheeks as she spoke in an obnoxious baby voice.

I swatted her hands away only to find them attacking my ears a moment later.

 It wasn’t long until we were having a full blown pillow fight – hiding behind opposite ends of my couch and launching our weapons of choice at each other. We only stopped when the scent of burnt corn wafted across the room.

“You burnt the popcorn again.” She stated obviously, sticking her tongue out at me.

I responded by throwing a pillow at her face.

There were other times, like now, when I thought we could be something more than friends. With her curled up on my floor, head resting in my lap, I couldn’t help but think that maybe she felt the same way. Perhaps somewhere during the last two months she had begun to fall for my cheesy lines and burnt food.

“Hmmmm, the movie’s over.”  She whispered through sleep’s grasp.

“Yea, has been for a while.” I couldn’t stop my eyes from lingering on her lips.

“Why didn’t you wake me up?”

“I felt bad. You looked comfortable.” A small shrug accompanied my reply.

Cream silently climbed to her knees and slowly pulled herself onto the couch. Curling up into a ball, a yawn soon took over.

“You know you can sleep in my bed, I’ll sleep on the couch.” I offered.

“You know I always turn you down.” She mumbled.

“Goodnight.” I smiled and turned to retire for the night. I was halted by Cream’s soft voice.

“Wait! Maize, willll you sssit with me. I wanna talk about sumthan.” I frowned, not sure if this was a good idea or not. It was clear she was only half awake. I wasn’t even sure if she really knew what she was saying or if she was already tucked away in some unknown dreamland.

“Ok,” I was hesitant but eventually I tenderly scooped up her white locks and sat down, resting her head back in my lap, “what did you want to talk about.”

“Whhhhhy don’t yyyyou just wear yyyyellow?” Her slurred speech caused a huge smile to grace my lips.

“Because, I don’t like yellow.”

“But if you wwore yyyellow everyooone would love yyou, I’m sure if it.”

I frowned, “I don’t need everyone to love me. I just want to be… me.”

“You’re brave. I wwould do anythan to just be normal.”

“You are normal, Cream.” My reassurance was in vain since she had already succumbed to sleep.

*

The next morning I was waiting for Cream to emerge from my bathroom. For a girl who didn’t wear make-up she sure did take forever to get ready.

“We’re going to be late to class.” Not that I really cared.

The door opened and she smoothed down her shirt, “Do I look fine?”

“You look gorgeous, let’s go.” I grabbed her hand and started leading her towards the door before she could run back to the bathroom for another hour.

“Alright, alright, jeeeeezzz.”

The walk to Berry University was always calming. The calm before the storm, as they say.

When we arrived in Painting 101 the classroom was already full but you wouldn’t guess so by the silence that stretched as we weaved our way through easels and students. After taking our places towards the back of the room the professor began to lecture about color: which colors were complimentary, hot and cold, and such. It was all really boring so I began to study my favorite subject:


Cream.

Before I knew it an hour had passed.

“Ready for this?” Cream whispered as she eyed Royal and Scarlett packing up their bags.

I nodded, rubbing my arm out of anxiety.

The seconds ticked by and after what seemed like an eternity, Royal and Scarlett left.

“Wait, what?” I found myself asking no one.

Cream took it upon herself to answer me, “Maybe they’re waiting for us outside.”

“Yea, probably.”

But when we exited into the crowded hallways they were nowhere to be found.

I felt like I was in a horror movie for the rest of the day, jumping at every sound and peaking around corners. Always expecting an attack to come out of the right field whenever I let my guard down. It never came.

The next two weeks passed like this. It was like Royal and Scarlett had just forgotten we existed. But I knew it was too good to be true, I knew that Royal had to be waiting for us to relax just so he could strike twice as hard. It was the only option that made sense.

So when he approached us after class one day I let instinct take over and began to speak over him.

“Hey, Cream. Mai—“

“HEY CREAM. WANNA GO TO THE PARK.” Ok, maybe I spoke a little too loudly. Cream elbowed me in the side and then smiled over at the purple terror.

“What can we do for you?” She asked in a sickly sweet voice.

Royal shot met a glare and I rolled my eyes at him, “Well, me and Scarlett actually wanted to invite you two to a party over Thanksgiving break.”

“Thanks, but we have better things to do than –“

 “We just feel so bad about how we’ve been treating you. We’ve seen the error of our ways, ya know?” Scarlett cooed.

“Sure, where’s it at?” Cream was practically beaming.

“We’ll email you all the details – your email is on the class’ roster information, right?” Royal was returning Cream’s smile.

I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to punch his teeth in more.

“Yup!” She chirped a little too happily for my tastes.

“Great, we’ll see you both there!” Scarlett exclaimed before her and Royal turned and headed in the opposite direction.

It was my turn to elbow Cream, “What was that about!”

“What, you don’t want to TRY to fit in?”

“Cream, they’re just going to use that party to humiliate us. You don’t actually think they want to be friends with us,” the look on her face told me otherwise, “Oh jeez, you want to be friends with them, don’t you?”

She didn’t reply. She didn’t have to -I knew the answer. She had told me that night on the couch. Cream wanted to be normal.

And she would risk just about anything to achieve it.

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Chapter Three: Alliances

Authors Note: This Chapter has a a hint of sex in it and mentions lesbians. None of it is in detail. If you have a problem with these things, do not read!

The dull echo of my footsteps followed me down the cold linoleum hallways that made up the communications section of Berry University. My pace was brisk, eyes down-caste, as I fled from the disaster that had just taken place.

I knew I was going to get it come Thursday. Surely Royal would make it his life’s mission to make me the laughing stock of the school. I realized that. It didn’t wipe the huge grin off my lips, though. I was elated – proud. I felt strong and invincible as my feet flew over the tiles. At that moment it didn’t matter what the repercussion were because I had done something that I was certain no one else before me had accomplished.

I had embarrassed Royal Endive.

I hadn’t been running long before an almost silent whimper stopped me in my tracks. The only other Berries in the hallway were a handful of late students who were congregated around a classroom door – apparently waiting for a fellow classmate to finish a speech before they took their seat. None of them, however, looked upset.

The last time I saw Cream, teary-eyed and covered in purple paint, crossed my mind as my gaze fell on the girl’s restroom. I nervously shifted my weight from one foot to the other, unsure if I should check the ultimate female sanctuary for the girl that plague my thoughts and visited my dreams.

Another small whimper flowed into the hallway and I could no longer keep myself from bursting into the room. The girls standing in front of the mirror certainly weren’t crying and definitely weren’t white. Green arms rose to cover exposed chests as screams erupted from their jade frosted lips.

I had just walked in on lesbians.

Lesbians that were currently in the middle of pleasuring one another.

“Oh jeez, I’m sorry. I thought you were – I mean – Sorry!” I stuttered as I threw myself back against the door I had just entered. Various versions of “PERVERT!” and “GET OUT OF HERE!” chased me back into the now, thankfully, empty hallway.

My face was hot and I was certain my cheeks were no longer the muddled yellow they usually were. No, I was sure they were on the brink of orange. As I collected my thoughts, taking one breath at a time to slow my racing heart, another whimper snaked its way down the hall. This time I listened carefully for the origin. I realized that the sound was coming from an empty classroom to my right and not the girl’s restroom on my left. My gut told me that I was right this time – that it was Cream and not another pair of lesbians – but my thoughts swirled in every direction. I was not sure if my hormones could take another shocker like that.

 Eventually I talked myself into at least knocking. So I stumbled over to the wooden frame and rapped two times.

“Go away!” The voice was weak and cracked on the last syllable. Even so, I recognized the sound. I had, after all, listened to its owner hum two times a week for the last month.

“Cream,” I called tentatively, “It’s Maize.”

Dumbie, I thought to myself, she doesn’t even know who you are.

The silence stretched between us. I was ready to explain that I was the yellow guy who used the easel behind her when she shattered the tension, “You didn’t have to do that.”

“Have to do what?”

“Try to stop them,” She paused for a moment before sighing, “you’re just going to make it harder for yourself.”

I shrugged, an action she couldn’t see as the door was still tightly shut between us, “I couldn’t just let them do that. It’s not right.”

The door opened just a sliver – enough so I could see one of her diamond colored eyes, “You let them hurt you all the time.”

I shrugged again, “I don’t let them get to me. You on the other hand, looked upset.”

“I’m sorry you got your hoodie dirty.” A sudden change of topic but I rolled with it.

“Yea, well, I’m not sorry that Royal’s face is now the color my hoodie once was.”

“What?” She gasped, the door swinging open to reveal the rest of her face. It was still coated in purple.

“Yea, Scarlett’s too. Though I wish I would have gotten a little more on her mug.” I pursed my lips at that thought.

Creams laughter vibrated through the air, ringing in my ears and causing shivers to course down my spine. Soon my laughter mingled with hers and we were both holding onto the doorframe for support.

“I wish – hahahah – I would have – ahahahaha – stayed just a second – hahahahahaha- longer.” She managed out between giggles.

I smiled at her, the feeling of pride returning, “Their faces were pretty priceless.” I imitated Scarlett’s shocked expression. This only served to send Cream and me into another fit of laughter.

“I’m Cream,” she said once we had both calmed down.

“I know,” I said with a small smile, hand out stretched, “I’m Maize.”

She shook my hand, a smile on her own lips, “Well, Maize, how about we form an alliance?”

“Only if you grab an ice cream with me.”

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Chapter Two: The Color of Ones Heart

Have you ever done something and, even as you were in the process of doing it, knew that it was creepy?

 Well, that’s the exact position I found myself in every Tuesday and Thursday.

I had tried on numerous occasions to gather my self-confidence and introduce myself to Cream. I would fidget from my place behind her, taking deep breaths and practicing my introduction. Every time I finally got up the courage to do something simple – like ask to share her paint or borrow a brush – Royal would crush my ego like a twig.

  Today was no different. I was standing behind Cream painting a candy building for the assignment we were currently working on. I wasn’t really making much progress – mainly because I was doing a lot more staring at the beauty in front of me than brush stroking. I knew it was a creeper thing to do – hide behind a canvas and stare – but I couldn’t seem to make my legs work or my lips move.

So, I was content with ogling for now.

I vaguely heard the professor tell the class that he had to use the restroom and would be back soon. I knew from experience that was a bad thing and instantly found myself gazing around the room for the purple terror. Whenever the teacher left, which was more often than not, the whole class erupted into hysterics.

Berries would shout and scream.

The one couple in the class would start sucking face.

 And Royal, the purple pain in my booty, always made sure to use the opportunity to harass me. So when I saw him and his red cohort, Scarlett, heading towards the back of the room I really wasn’t surprised. I grinded my teeth together and prepared for the insults and perhaps a shove or two.

Only they didn’t come.

Ok, so he did glare at me as he passed and said something like, “Berries like you shouldn’t be here, freak!” but that was surprisingly harmless compared to his usual behavior.

Scarlett giggled along with him and followed him to the back of the room. I couldn’t help but be curious. Were they really going to use the time reserved for tormenting me for something more productive, like refilling their paints? Because that’s what they were doing.

They were only in the back of the classroom for a few moments before they started back down my row. As they passed me I, once again, prepared myself for a blow. Instead all Royal did was puff out his chest and raise his fist as he walked by. I didn’t flinch at his display but rolled my eyes instead. I really hoped he got what was coming to him one day.

When they stopped next to Cream, who had been calmly painting during the teacher’s absence, I silently willed them back over to me. My stomach was in knots and my eyes were wide with disbelief.

They never bullied Cream.

Ok, so that’s not completely true. They called her a genetic malfunction and often started rumors that she was an illegitimate child created from her Berry mother and an unknown Sim male.  However, compared to the treatment I received, that was dust in the wind.

And I just knew they hadn’t stopped beside her just to call her a freak.

“Hey Cream,” Scarlett practically purred, “how are you today?”

Cream nearly jumped out of her skin, white eyes wide with disbelief, “Um. I’m ok, Scarlett, how are you?”

“We were just wondering,” Royal was now speaking, “if you wanted to become a normal berry.”

I felt my stomach drop and, as fast as I could, tried to maneuver around my easel and grab hold on Royal’s arms.

“Wha-“I heard Cream muster out before a whole cup of purple pain flew on her face. A scream tore from her lips and in that moment I finally managed to capture Royals arm in mine, stopping him from dosing her in yellow as well.

“Hey, that’s not funny!” The words were out before I could stop them.

Despite my statement the whole class room was in an uproar. Everyone was chuckling and pointing at Cream, who was as still as stone. This did not go unnoticed by the purple terror.

“Oh really, because I think you and the genetic mishap here are the only people don’t think so.”

Scarlett, purple cup still in hand, was doubled over in laughter. She regained her composure long enough to snatch the yellow paint out of Royal’s hand and dose my hoodie in it, “Look, were just making you freaks normal! You should be thanking us!” She hollered.

At that moment Cream darted off, tears collecting in her eyes. I knew I couldn’t stand here. I couldn’t let them get away with this. I had to do something. They couldn’t be allowed to go around tormenting innocent people like this, it wasn’t right.

Taking a deep breath, I let go of Royal’s arm and squared my shoulders. Head held high, I looked the two of them in the eye, “You know, I might not wear yellow and Cream might not have a color but you two, you were born the wrong color,” The look of confusion that contorted their faces gave me the opening I needed. In the blink of an eye I had reached out to Cream’s supplies and grabbed my own color of choice – black, “because you’re hearts are as black as night.”

And with that I dumped the container over both of their heads and ducked out of reach as quick as my feet would carry me.

I don’t think the classroom had ever been that silent.

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Chapter One: The Only Reason

Weeks passed and the whispers and stares didn’t cease. You might have thought I was a celebrity, what with the way everyone stopped what they were doing so they could focus solely on gawking at me.


My first day in the courtyard seemed to be stuck on repeat. No one wanted to speak to me but everyone wanted to talk about me. Behind my back, of course. Their whispers as I walked down the hallways were always just loud enough so I could hear. Intentional, I’m sure.

Honestly, it didn’t really bother me. I was alone most of my life and bullied the other half of it so it wasn’t anything I wasn’t use to handling. The jeers shouted at me as I walked passed and the insults whipped callously my way had little effect. I had learned to shrug them off a long time ago.

What I was not, however, prepared for the physical abuse they threw at me. Back in Sunset Valley I hadn’t been shoved daily. I hadn’t been heaved against walls and spat on. The only time anyone had laid a hand on me was during my first and only fight.

At first it startled me. I didn’t know how to react. So, I just let them get away with it. I wasn’t much of a fighter anyways; my sole experience with one had taught me that. Eventually I grew tired of walking home with bruises on my knees and scuffs on my chin. I wasn’t dumb enough to think I could win in a contest of strength against them but I thought I could at least defend myself.

Well, I was wrong.

I wasn’t sure why they felt so threatened by a yellow ‘bow in black clothing, but apparently they were.

To be honest, the rest of the town wasn’t any better than my class. On my walks home I often collected various glances. Most were more glaring than sympathetic. No one ever asked what happened or offered to help me -which was fine. I would much prefer to be alone than to deal with fake concern.

Luckily, I was only banned from one store so far. It was one of the towns many clothing boutiques. I had walked in hoping to find some clothing that was more my style since my mom had, conveniently, misplaced all of my none-yellow attire during the move. The owner had been excited at my initial presence. She greeted me and asked if I needed help finding the yellow section.

I declined.

She looked confused momentarily before asking if I was shopping for someone else. I told her no, I was shopping for myself. I think she finally put together the fact that I wasn’t wearing yellow and wasn’t going to be buying yellow clothing because her face turned a dark shade of red. She shouted numerous names of sweets at me like, “You no good Sugar!” and “Motherfudger!” before threatening to call security if I didn’t leave.

I wasn’t really sure what a motherfudger was but she seemed pretty upset. So, I left with a merry ‘goodbye’ and a wave of my hand.

 As far as I was concerned, there was only one good thing about this whole town.

Cream.

The first time I saw her had been in one of my waste-of-money electives – Painting 101. It was not excited about painting circles and squares for an hour and a half every Tuesday and Thursday. Matter of fact, I had been considering dropping the course. My father had been the one to convince me to at least attend the first session because ‘maybe I’d enjoy it’. How would I know if I didn’t give it go, right?

Wrong.

But my parents were paying and I knew I’d never hear the end of it if I didn’t at least try it. So on my first Tuesday in Sugar Valley I trudged up the stairway and into the art studio. My bag was stuffed full of brushes and paints along with some random books I needed for another class after this nightmare. The room was bloated with easels – wall to wall – so that I could hardly even see who else I had to share this experience with.

“Look at that! I bet they have a genetic disorder.”

The insult wasn’t subtle. I assumed it was aimed at me and rolled my eyes in response, heading towards the back of the room while the insults continued.

“She has too. She is colorless, after all!”

“Yea, colorless berries are known to have all kinds of health problems.”

By now I realized that, for once, I wasn’t the center of the negativity. I stopped by a nearby easel and took a few seconds to take in my surroundings. I could barely make out colored limbs from the front of the class. I knew right away that the duo were the ones producing the taunts. I followed their gaze to the most beautiful Berry I had ever seen in my entire existence.

I can’t tell you what it is about her.

Maybe the curls of her hair.

The flutter of her lashes.

Or the way her delicate hands grip a brush.

What I can tell you is from that day forward I was infatuated.

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Prologue: Not Berry Enough

Prologue: Not Berry Enough

“Look at him.”

“Ew. He’s so… weird.”

“I know, right.”

“I don’t understand why he can’t just be a normal Berry.”

“Yea, it’s not like it’s hard to dress in your own color and not be a freak.”

Someone else might have been offended by this exchange. Not me.

I had grown up in Sunset Valley – home to normal Sims and three berries. Me, my mom and my pops. I was always sort of an outsider there. After all, I was the only child, and eventually teenage, rainbow in the entire populous. You can’t really blame normal Sims for being startled when a yellow individual walks into a room. And when I say yellow I mean completely yellow; my hair, eyes, skin. Even my unmentionables – though my classmates never saw that area.

My classmates use to tease me because of my name. Ask if I was named Maize because corn is yellow. Which of course, I was. Not that I ever told them that. Despite their borderline bullying, I never blamed my classmates. I mean, they had never seen a rainbow before, their stares were justified. They had to warm up to me before they would allow a ‘freak’ into their lives.

As I got older the teasing relented and, eventually, I made a few friends. They understood me and we had a sort of misfit connection that many teenagers have. They may not have been the smartest or most popular but hanging out with them made me realize that I shouldn’t have to wear yellow all the time. I should be able to express myself in any and every way I wanted – including my clothing.

So I started wearing my yellow clothes in the morning and stashing black ones in my backpack. When I arrived at school I would rush to the nearest restroom and change into attire I liked. Normally black and ripped -I knew my parents would never approve. So, I hid it from them. I managed to keep them oblivious for years, all the way until I was a Junior.

It was all some big jocks fault, really. He always picked on me and my friends. We ignored him, like normal, but that day he seemed dead set on a fight. Before I even knew what was happened a fist was thrown in my face. It was a complete brawl. I, having never fought before, lost.  The school called my parents.

They freaked.

Not because I was sporting a black eye and a few new lumps on my face. No, because I was wearing black. How dare I not dress like a berry!

You see, both my parents are yellow ‘bows. They grew up in Sugar Valley and were raised to behave like normal rainbows.

That is, to marry your own color, dress in your own color, live in your own color and drive your own color. It was exhausting, really. They loved it though. So when they found out about my hidden rebellion, they flipped. They started by grounding me every time they caught me with clothing that wasn’t yellow. Then they threatened to never let me see my friends again.

Now that I think about it, I guess they actually went through with that.

In a desperate attempt to get me to act more like a ‘bow and less like a Sim, they shipped me off to their berry filled home town. They rented me a small apartment – a small, yellow, apartment. They even pretended to be me and sent in an application to the local university – which was accepted. I had, after all, graduated high school with honors.

So, that basically sums up how I ended up here – in the courtyard of my new college – being ostracized.

Guess I wasn’t Sim enough to be accepted in Sunset Valley and not Berry enough to be accepted in Sugar Valley.